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Convention could do more harm

Former Rep. Tom Coburn is correct in his op-ed, “A means to smite the federal Leviathan” (Web, Feb. 24), when he writes that the government has become a loose cannon and its powers need to be limited. However, Mr. Coburn’s remedy will be worse than the disease he’s trying to cure.

Thai elephant rides aid cruelty

Tourists who pay to ride elephants are essentially ensuring that those elephants will spend most of their lives miserable in chains (“Travel: Thailand’s great elephant debate,” Web, Feb. 24). Unwitting travelers are duped into believing that their money is going to “help” elephants, but international watchdogs have documented that wild elephants are being captured to perpetuate this lucrative tourist industry.

Hear-no-evil crowd is back at it

When he awarded Jan Karski the U.S. Medal of Freedom in April 2012, President Obama said, “We must tell our children about how this evil was allowed to happen — because so many people succumbed to their darkest instincts, because so many others stood silent.”

Condemn Bahrain’s policies

S. Rob Sobhani’s recent claim that the King of Bahrain is adhering to good governance and consequently boosting U.S. interests in the region could not be further from the truth (“Bahrain, an island of stability amid Mideast chaos,” Web, Feb. 12).

Oscars miss the mark again

The 2015 Academy Awards was simply the final round of Hollywood celebrating itself again — and again and again. Alas, with few exceptions the film and entertainment industry continues to decline into little more than sex, violence, shallow stories and a lack of imagination and original thought reduced to narcissism resembling “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

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Not-so-essential personnel

With the dispute over funding for the Department of Homeland Security at an impasse, rhetoric from both Republicans and Democrats is flying higher and hotter by the day. One intriguing point of contention is that 200,000 of the 230,000 of DHS employees are deemed "essential" and therefore exempt from furlough. That's an incredible 87 percent.

End-of-life plans a must for all

As we celebrate Black History Month, it's time we discuss an important issue that our community avoids like the plague: how we die. Case in point: Fox's new hit drama, "Empire," exposes the real-life struggles the black community has in coping with end-of-life choices. On the show, record label CEO Lucious Lyon discovers he has ALS and has only three years to live, so he decides to pit his sons against each other to determine who will succeed him. The ensuing drama makes for great television, but should leave us wondering: Is there a better way to die?

Return to Judeo-Christianity needed now

In "As anti-Semitism makes a comeback, Obama remains ignorant" (Web, Feb. 16) Wesley Pruden writes "The Islamic State, or ISIS, with its dreams of a worldwide caliphate ruled by Islam from the Dark Ages, videotapes the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, puts their severed heads on display ... " These terrorists are obviously very proud of this accomplishment, having absolutely no respect for any type of human life that won't bow down to Allah. Even the Nazis must have had some knowledge of what is right or wrong, since they tried to hide their most evil deeds.

Shameful talking heads

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, AKA "Baghdad Bob," was a former Iraqi diplomat. He came under worldwide ridicule while acting as the spokesperson for the Saddam Hussein regime during the 2003 Gulf War.

Evolution's lingering questions

Several years ago in an Internet commentary many people were complaining about God being mentioned as our Creator in a Texas textbook. Based on their belief that we all evolved, I wrote and asked which evolved first — male or female? I was called a Neanderthal and a member of the flat earth society who didn't believe planes could fly and other names.

No atheist outcry over Islamic terror

A student at Yulee High School in Florida was recently disciplined for signing off the approved morning announcement by saying "God bless America" ("Florida student sparks fireworks with 'God bless America' intercom sign-off," Web, Feb. 12). Two atheists at the school were angered at that utterance.

Killing industry with junk science

Back in 1995 I wrote a thesis titled "The CFC Ban: Is it Warranted?" refuting the notion that "global warming" was caused by man-made pollution. The global warming theory was based on the belief that chlorinated fluorocarbons (CFCs) would rise up into the atmosphere and reduce the level of ozone in the ozone layer, causing holes in the ozone. Well, I wasn't the only one who debunked that theory, because CFCs are three to four times heavier than air and may never make it to the ozone layer. You no longer hear scientists mention these theories.

Remembering Kayla Mueller

The life and death of Kayla Mueller at the hands of the savages of the self-proclaimed Islamic State has touched the civilized world ("Obama vows retribution against Islamic State for Kayla Mueller death," Web, Feb. 10).